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First omicron variant case identified in San Diego County

An Omicron COVID-19 case has been identified in San Diego, the County Health and Human Services Agency announced today.

The new variant was identified in a San Diego resident who had recently traveled abroad.

The specimen tested positive for COVID-19 Dec. 8. The San Diego Epidemiology and Research for COVID Health (SEARCH) Alliance conducted whole genome sequencing and identified the Omicron variant Thursday morning.

The patient, who had been vaccinated and received a booster, was not hospitalized and is under isolation.

The County is conducting its investigation to identify people who may have had close contact with the patient.

“We expected that the Omicron variant would make its way to San Diego, and it has,” said Wilma J. Wooten, M.D., M.P.H., County public health officer. “We are continuing to monitor for the Omicron variant and will report any other cases to the public when they are identified.”

The County continues to work with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the California Department of Public Health to review existing recommendations and determine if changes should be made in the region.

Dr. Wooten recommends the following measures to protect against all varieties of COVID-19, including the Omicron variant:

  • Get vaccinated and get a booster if you qualify. The vaccine is available at health care providers, retail pharmacies and community clinics. You can also make an appointment or find a site near you by calling (833) 422-4255 or visiting the My Turn website.
  • Wear a mask, especially in public indoor settings, regardless of vaccination status.
  • Get tested if you have any symptoms, whether you’ve been vaccinated or not. You can make a free test appointment or find a walk-in test clinic at coronavirus-sd.com.
  • Wash your hands frequently and stay home if you’re sick and distance yourself from others.

More information about COVID-19, testing and vaccinations can be found at coronavirus-sd.com.